Societe Generale, France's second-biggest bank, is weighing whether to put its U.S. asset manager TCW Group up for sale, said people with knowledge of the situation.
One option may be a management-led buyout of the business, said two of the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the matter is private. Societe Generale may decide not to sell TCW and could still pursue an initial public offering for the unit, the people said. Los Angeles-based TCW may be valued at about $1 billion, one person said.
A sale of TCW would add to billions of euros in asset disposals by Societe Generale since July as European banks cut the size of their balance sheets to cope with the region's debt crisis. Chief Executive Frederic Oudea said in September that the Paris-based bank is seeking disposals mostly from its asset-management and financial services division to free up 4 billion euros ($5.3 billion) in capital by 2013.
Societe Generale said in a statement that its plans for TCW haven't changed and the firm is on course for an IPO in the next two to three years.
"TCW is not for sale and we continue to believe that TCW is on a trajectory for strong and sustained growth," Societe Generale said in the statement.